West Seattle, Washington
That Seattle Public Schools video clip shows you what happened this past Wednesday night when the School Board took a joyful action – renaming Highland Park Elementary School’s library in honor of LouAnne Rundall. She’s been a volunteer there for 45 years, more than half her life; teacher-librarian Chris Robert and principal Chris Cronas sang her praises to the board. Hours before the board’s vote, she was honored at an assembly on the first day of school. LouAnne has actually spent close to 50 years working in the library – what she does as a volunteer was a paid position for a few years. Thanks to Chris Robert for letting us know about this – he also shared this photo of LouAnne with him in the HPES library:
She is also the subject of a tribute on the school library’s webpage.
Three biznotes tonight:
DR. RALEIGH RETIRES: Longtime West Seattle dentist Dr. William H. Raleigh has announced his retirement:
After practicing dentistry for 44 years, I decided to retire from full-time employment. Being a dentist in West Seattle has been a huge part of my life. I never wanted to leave this role due to the closeness I have with my long-term staff, and the relationships with my patients, cultivated over many years. The ongoing conversations I have had with you have enriched my life and provided a wealth of insights. I shall miss you all.
Dr. Raleigh has turned his practice over to Dr. Michael Korn, whose background is detailed in the full announcement Dr. Raleigh sent to patients (read it here). Dr. Raleigh adds:
To aid in a smooth transition, I shall be working back for Dr. Korn, and I shall continue to be a part of the office. My current staff will remain as well. … Thank you for all your support over the years. It has been a privilege treating you!
WEST SEATTLE WOMEN’S ACQUISITION: Two West Seattle women are now the owners of a big downtown media-services firm, Media+, for which they’ve long worked.
This news release tells the story of Mary Ann Grajek (above left) and Lauren Portman Ramaska (above right), both of whom have been with the company more than a decade, becoming its new owners. Their agency represents companies you know such as North Delridge-headquartered Bartell Drugs, and their goal is to be “the most successful independently-owned mid-sized media agency in the country.”
KINDERMUSIK TIME: A new season is about to start at historic Kenyon Hall in Sunrise Heights:
Kindermusik, the premier early-childhood music and movement curriculum, is taught at Kenyon Hall by master musician Lou Magor. Families with children birth to seven years of age are welcome to register. For more information, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Classes begin right after Labor Day.
I wiped out on my bike today, barrelling down Genesee between Avalon Way & Delridge. A bike malfunction locked up my back wheel and I was thrown. The injuries were semi-serious, but I was trying to crawl my way back to my bike and get home. I’m glad I didn’t. She calmed me down, insisted that I sit, called 911 and (I think) waited until the fire brigade arrived. The ambulance picked me up and I just got home from Harborview. Staples in my head, cracked helmet, and about 2 sq ft of aggregate road rash.
Thanks to that nice woman who stopped and called the cops for me. I likely otherwise would have pretended everything was cool, but at the time I was likely concussed and in a haze. Now that I have my wits back, I could easily see myself walking back up the hill and trying to ride home when I had a hard time remembering what year it was in the ambulance. I also had a hard time remembering who the president is, which is a nice side effect of concussions if you’re into that sort of thing.
Again, thanks to that kind woman. Seattle is becoming a gritty city in some parts, but I’m happy to have nice neighbors in West Seattle.
Sorry for the same-day notice – we had been asking about this, but just got word today: The first meeting of the city’s new Community Involvement Commission is tonight at City Hall downtown. This is the group whose formation was announced by Mayor Murray more than a year ago in his plan to “replace the District Council system.” Its appointed members are listed here; representing West Seattle/South Park is Jeniffer Calleja, who’s profiled here. The commission meeting is open to the public, 6 pm in the Boards and Commissions Room on the lower level at City Hall (600 4th Avenue); see the agenda here.
P.S. While no longer receiving the previous ~$500/year city funding, West Seattle’s two district councils are still alive and well and continuing as independent groups composed of reps from smaller organizations such as community councils and nonprofits. The Southwest District Council meets first Wednesdays, 6:30 pm at the Senior Center/Sisson Building; the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meets third Wednesdays, 7 pm, next location TBA.
Please join us in wishing our Executive Director, Kristina Dahl, well as she transitions into a new position as a high school English teacher. Under Kristina’s leadership, NW Hope & Healing has grown, and more women than ever have been helped with our grants and healing baskets. We are sad to see her leave, but wish her all the best in her new endeavors.
We are excited to announce the selection of Karyn Blasi Hellar as our interim Executive Director. Karyn has served as Board President at NWHH, and is prepared to lead NWHH with enthusiasm, knowledge of the organization and our patients’ needs, and a commitment to our cause.
Karyn will be working with Kristina Dahl to seamlessly transition Executive Director leadership.
Karyn brings a wealth of experience to her new role. While managing breast imaging for Swedish Hospital, First Hill, she was asked to join the NWHH Board where she filled roles on the executive team as Board Chair and Vice Chair. Prior to her tenure at Swedish, for a decade she worked for Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, where she more recently managed the breast cancer program.
“I look forward to continuing to serve and partner with Seattle’s dynamic community in this new capacity,” remarks Karyn. “I am dedicated to supporting and developing NWHH because it provides vital resources to those in need, contributing to this region’s quality of life.”
Kristina’s last day was August 18th. Please join us in wishing her well in her new endeavors, and also in welcoming Karyn to her new role.
As noted here last weekend, NWHH is no longer presenting the Alki Beach 5K, but is the beneficiary for the event that has replaced it, the Cosmo 7K/5K, happening on Alki next Sunday morning.
Four groups demonstrated at Walk All Ways in The Junction today, focused on “peace and justice” – West Seattle Neighbors for Peace and Justice, which has long rallied there on Sundays, was joined by Hate-Free Delridge, Anti-Hate Alaska Junction, and Sustainable West Seattle, as a followup to last Wednesday’s gathering in North Delridge. Participants spanned generations:
One of the signs on the southwest corner mentioned Anti-Hate Alaska Junction’s next “bystander intervention training” workshop, one week from today, which is also listed in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar.
It’s been almost a year since we first reported on Westside Neighbors Network, building a “village” to support positive aging. Now, WNN has announced it’s ready for members and other forms of support:
Westside Neighbors Network (WNN) has reached two major organizational milestones: incorporation in the State of Washington and 501(c)(3) federal nonprofit status. As a result, it’s now accepting Founding Memberships as well as financial donations.
WNN is a group of West Seattle neighbors working to create a “village” on the west side. The village model began in Boston and has been replicated many times throughout the country. Three other village organizations are already in place in Seattle and several other neighborhoods are planning theirs.
In a village, members access the social connections they need to thrive, the support they need to age gracefully in their homes, and the sense of community they desire. Each village has a unique focus.
“We envision our village as a network of neighbors who come together to create and sustain community,” said founding member Judie Messier. “Our goal is to nurture a lively and engaged multigenerational community that celebrates and supports positive aging.”
WNN recently hosted two community forums and has been making presentations to a wide variety of organizations throughout the west side. Planners have chosen Jan. 1, 2018, as the official launch date and two tiers of membership for individuals and households:
*Social membership, which entitles members to participate in activities and, if they choose, to volunteer their skills to support other members.
*Full membership, which includes the benefits of a social membership plus the ability to receive support from other members (such as rides to appointments and light household repair), to get member-referrals to service providers, and to utilize co-living resources.
By paying 2018 dues early, Founding Members can lock in the cost of membership and participate in member-driven activities through the remainder of 2017. Those who like may also be involved in continued development of the village.
Learn more about WNN and Founding Membership from Judie at email@example.com or visit the website at westsideneighborsnetwork.org.
On many Sundays at noon, West Seattle Neighbors for Peace and Justice demonstrate at Walk All Ways in the heart of The Junction. Tomorrow, they’ll have company from other groups, including Hate-Free Delridge, as a followup to that group’s demonstration last Wednesday on the overpass by Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (WSB coverage here).
As HFD told us at the end of that event, all are welcome during the noon-1:30 pm demonstration in The Junction, at which they intend to “stand for peace and justice” – bring your own signs, or borrow one of their extras.
By Judy Pickens
Special to West Seattle Blog
The Ugandan library that started as an ambitious idea in West Seattle is now open for business.
The 200-square-foot library, stocked with nearly 5,000 donated books, opened July 24 in the Hope of Children and Women Victims of Violence compound in Ndejje Central Zone south of Kampala, where English is commonly spoken. Run by a small staff backed by refugees and volunteers, the non-profit supports people traumatized by violence and extreme poverty with education, health care, and social entrepreneurship. Most are refugee children from South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Congo, and other African countries.
Alina Guyon, going into her junior year at Holy Names Academy, spearheaded “Libraries for All,” from writing the business plan to stocking the shelves. Long interested in the plight of refugees, she chose the project for the impact it would have and as a way to earn her Girl Scout Gold Award.
The All the Sky Foundation got the ball rolling by offering Alina a $25,000 grant toward expenses. She put out a call in December for book donations, with VAIN Hair Salon as the principal drop-off point for West Seattle residents. Fauntleroy Church UCC and Hope Lutheran School donated by the boxful. Alki Lumber and Home Depot came through with building supplies and Better Built Barns in Salem, Oregon, signed on to prefabricate the building. Gifts from family members and friends rounded out the budget.
A shipping container left West Seattle in mid-April, packed with 8,000 pounds of building components and books. Alina, her mother Sheryl Guyon, and builders Patrick Anderson and Justin Laughery then finalized plans to meet up with the container in mid-July in Kampala.
After several days on site to get acquainted with the refugee agency and area, Alina and Sheryl faced the unexpected challenge of getting customs to release the container. A little assertiveness with “higher-ups” ended the standoff, leaving the crew only three and a half days to assemble and stock the library.
Each day was long and hot and the paint was barely dry when they hung the curtains right before the opening celebration.
Uganda has the fastest-growing refugee population in Africa, and violence and protracted poverty deprive many children of an education.
Through newly appointed librarian Alice (above), a 19-year-old refugee from the Congo who spent a year concentrating on learning English, Hope of Children and Women Victims of Violence will sustain free access to the library’s resources and offer movie screenings and other community events to foster literacy.
“None of this would have been possible without all the amazing support I received from people all along this journey,” said Alina. “A BIG thank you to everyone!”
Visit libraries4all.com to read more about this project and subscribe to receive updates.
If you’re ready to rally after the ugliness of this past week – from Charlottesville to DC-vs-Pyongyang – Hate-Free Delridge has an invitation for you. Received this morning:
Hate-Free Delridge will be standing for peace on Wednesday, August 16, from 4:30 to 6:00 PM.
Come join us on the Delridge pedestrian overpass at Oregon Street.
Bring a sign — for example:
Make Love, Not War
Negotiate, Don’t Escalate
A peace symbol
Tell your friends. We need to be heard. We need to speak out. See you there.
It’s been almost exactly a year since we first reported on the birth of Hate-Free Delridge in the wake of a racist attack on a local family.
Story and video by Linda Ball
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Swagger fun style is how dancer Hank Kershell describes his dance style. Perhaps you’ve caught his moves. He’s danced for up to 10 hours at a time, 19 Fridays in a row, at the Junction in front of Key Bank. Not only that, he danced every day at this year’s West Seattle Summer Fest, which he said “did him in.”
WSB readers have been asking if we had ever found out the story of “the dancing man,” so we talked with him last Friday.
The latest Morgan Junction community cleanup organized by Jill Boone happened this morning; she shared photos and this report tonight:
We had a great morning picking up litter. It is amazing what a committed small group of volunteers can do in 1.5 hours!
Here are photos of some of the volunteers.
The bus stops especially will be noticeably cleaner for a while.
Look at the pile of bags!
If you’re interested in being on Jill’s contact list for future cleanups, firstname.lastname@example.org is her e-mail address.
Something new at New Luck Toy: One patron now has a seat at the bar with his name on a plaque.
That’s Brent Amaker, local musician and entrepreneur – you might remember him as the headliner on West Seattle Summer Fest night 2 – seen below with New Luck Toy co-proprietor Chef Mark Fuller.
Story goes that Fuller told Amaker the plaque was OK as long as he installed it. That happened Thursday afternoon – instead of a guitar, Amaker wielded a power tool. Final result – crafted by Jimmy Davies of Craftsman Copper in Olympia:
The bar-with-Chinese-food at 5905 California SW has been open almost 10 months.
Another West Seattle nonprofit is in for a change at the top. Just announced by the West Seattle Helpline:
The West Seattle Helpline is hiring a new Executive Director to lead the organization into the next phase of its efforts to put a stop to homelessness in West Seattle and White Center. The current Executive Director of the WS Helpline, Chris Langeler, will transition out in September 2017 after 2 1/2 years leading the organization.
Langeler says, “It has been a true honor to serve the West Seattle and White Center communities in this role. When I was hired, I made a commitment to our Board of Directors to give my all for 2-3 years to help the organization grow and reach its full potential. I’m so proud of the strides that we’ve made and immensely grateful to our incredible donors, volunteers, partners, and staff that have made this possible. I’m not yet sure about my next steps, but I am sure that I will always cherish my time here and will never stop supporting the West Seattle Helpline.”
The WS Helpline has grown significantly in the last two years, adding multiple staff members and more than doubling the number of volunteers. The result has been a significant increase in the number of West Seattle and White Center residents served through emergency rent & utility assistance, bus tickets, and the Clothesline, an all-ages clothing bank, recently moved to a new location in the WS Junction. The organization just finalized a two-year strategic plan for 2017-2019 and is seeking a new leader to implement that plan and further its mission:
Board member Rev. Ron Marshall says, “As one of the founders of the WS Helpline, I can say for certain that our organization is stronger and doing more to serve our community than ever before. We’re thankful to Chris for helping the organization grow and expand its impact over the last two-and-a-half-years. Now is the perfect time for us to select our next leader to help us take the next step toward put a stop to homelessness in West Seattle & White Center.”
The job description was posted online this week and the deadline to apply is Monday, August 23rd at 9:00 am. The WS Helpline encourages everyone to share the description widely with qualified candidates who may be interested in applying. More on the opportunity and how to apply is available (here).
(Timothy Brock’s video invitation to Tuesday’s event, courtesy of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The last time composer/conductor Timothy Brock was onstage in West Seattle, he was a WSHS student, performing with one of the school’s musical groups.
During his years at the school, he was involved with them all – band, orchestra, stage band, chamber orchestra, choir – he recalled during a conversation this week outside the Admiral Theater, where he’s headlining the next fundraiser for restoration of the moviehouse’s historic circa-1942 murals:
At 6:45 pm next Tuesday night (July 25th), he will be onstage just a few blocks from his alma mater, in a multifaceted event explained by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, which is leading the mural-restoration fundraising campaign:
This exciting evening – to last more than three hours, with an intermission – will start with Timothy Brock being interviewed by his childhood friend, West Seattle’s Dave Beck, a host at KING-FM and longtime former KUOW-FM host.
Brock will reminisce with Beck about their West Seattle upbringing and discuss the fascinating process of scoring silent classics. (Brock earned the label of “Silent-Film Music Guru” from Vogue magazine in May 2016.)
Interspersed will be stills and clips from silent films that Brock has scored. Following an intermission, Brock will introduce the screening of the Charlie Chaplin feature “Modern Times,” for which Brock has restored and re-recorded the original 1936 Chaplin score.
This isn’t Brock’s first trip back home – far from it. His mom and sister live in this area. His oldest son lives in Olympia. That’s where Brock moved at age 18, leaving West Seattle, and eventually spending more than a decade conducting the Olympia Chamber Orchestra. Olympia is where he says most of his “silent-film experiments” were initiated, but he now lives in Europe, where there is more of an appreciation for what he specializes in – composing scores for silent films. And it’s not just an appreciation from the spectator standpoint; Brock explains that silent-film history is taught, and in France, there’s even a program to teach silent-film composition.
His path toward his unique career started with a visit to the now-gone Granada Theater (south of The Junction) at an early age. “I actually came back and said to my mom, ‘this is something I would really like to do – play piano and make music for really old films’. She didn’t know I meant silent films. (I explained), ‘no, these don’t have any words at all, just words (onscreen) and music’. She’s been worried about my career ever since.”
He was age 10 when that interest was kindled. At 23, he was commissioned to write his first silent-film score, for “Pandora’s Box,” a film by G.W. Pabst. Since then, he says, he’s written on average one silent-film score a year. He just completed one for Fritz Lang‘s 1929 “Frau im Mond (Woman in the Moon),” a three-hour science-fiction film that he says was the first of its kind. The premiere was last April. He’s now writing a violin concerto for the BBC Symphony, to premiere next season, in 2018-2019.
So what’s it going to be like, to be onstage at The Admiral next Tuesday? we asked.
“It’s the most bizarre feeling to see your name on the marquee of a theater you grew up with,” Brock acknowledged. But also – “It’s great. It’s a little like coming back home and playing for your friends … talking with family and friends about what it is that you do.”
We asked how he views the importance of what it is that he does – Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals recorded Brock’s answer on video:
As you can hear in the video, he listed several reasons – “It’s part of our heritage, specifically for Americans, too … an art form that has obviously died out,” as have most of the people who performed as silent-film musicians. So many of them, Brock explained, performed in symphony orchestras as well as the theater orchestras that played the silent-film accompaniment. And now – “It’s a matter of keeping that art up, learning the craft, teaching it to future generations. One of the reasons I live in Europe is that orchestras of middle- and high-caliber program silent films as part of their seasons.”
The music itself, he added, is of great historical value, with work by composers such as Shostakovich “who liked the idea of writing for this [then-]new art form. … It needs to be kept alive.” Brock’s work includes the silent-film programs for the New York Philharmonic: “It’s important just like any period performances of baroque or Middle Ages [etc.] music.”
And his early music education at West Seattle High School helped lay the groundwork for his one-of-a-kind career. In our conversation, he listed “some fabulous teachers,” including Donn Weaver, who recently retired as director of the West Seattle Big Band.
So come to The Admiral on Tuesday night to see and hear how one of your former West Seattle neighbors is preserving and enhancing film and music history, while contributing to the preservation and restoration of the theater’s historic murals. Tickets are $20 and you’ll want to buy yours online ASAP – go here and choose “Modern Times” at the bottom of the page. (There’s also a $100 VIP opportunity, to meet and talk with Brock and Beck at 5:30 pm.)
ORIGINAL SUNDAY REPORT, 6:25 PM: Again this year, dozens of Northwest tribes are sending canoes on a regional journey to a gathering site, and Alki Beach is one of the stops along the way. Last year was the first time in four years that they stopped at Alki, where the Muckleshoots are the hosts; here’s our coverage of their arrival and their departure. Last year the canoe families were headed to the South Sound; this year, participants are taking separate routes to Campbell River, British Columbia, with arrival there on August 5th. The Alki stop is set for this Wednesday, July 19th, departing the next day; we don’t have specific times yet but will update when we do.
MONDAY MORNING UPDATE: We’re told the arrivals are expected around 3 pm.
Thanks to John Vair for the photo and report:
Over a period of 4 years starting in June 2013, the Boy Scouts from local Troop 284 rebuilt trail steps in Camp Long that rise along the Glacier Climbing Wall on the east side of the camp.
Four of the Scouts led phases of the rebuild as their Eagle Scout projects: Bennett Pagliarini, Michael Pennie, James Vair, and Jonathan Vair.
Originally constructed out of wood timbers by the Works Progress Administration in 1940, the stairs had become worn, broken, and difficult to traverse. The Scouts constructed the new steps from recycled granite sidewalk curbs formerly used in downtown Seattle, and completed the project on June 11.
Next time you’re at Junction Plaza Park (42nd SW/SW Alaska), look for that plaque on the center bench on the west side. The Lions Club of West Seattle worked with the city to get it placed in honor of their parent organization’s centennial, and in a short ceremony this morning, club leaders were joined by City Councilmember Lisa Herbold to celebrate its placement:
The councilmember read a special proclamation in the club’s honor:
The Lions wanted to add a new bench to the park, not just a new plaque, but couldn’t get that worked out with the Parks Department in time. If you’re not familiar with the Lions, they’re a community-service organization that supports sight- and hearing-impaired people as well as students seeking scholarships – read more about their work here, and go here to find out about events at which you’re welcome to join them.
After decades of teaching, those two West Seattleites are moving to the next phase of their lives. The announcement, from their family:
This month, two longtime (37+-year) educators are retiring from the teaching world.
Nancy Hallberg (who helped facilitate the White Center Heights Elementary musical instrument drive a few years back) is retiring from her position as the librarian at WCH, where she dazzled the students, introducing them to Roald Dahl and Dr. Seuss, encouraging them to find a passion for reading and exploring their talents.
Peter Junkerman is retiring his beakers and stepping into a life free of lab experiments after 35+ years as a science teacher. He spent the last 10+ at Chief Sealth International HS as the IB Chemistry teacher; and his career revloved around igniting the fire of learning, pushing students to find new ways to think about the environment, molecules, and the world around them. He has earned the distingushed honor of being a “Junkerman” as told by the Urban Dictonary:
a very awesome teacher, or someone who is really good at teaching other people
Karl: i don’t get this problem
Hamda: just call over the teacher, he’s a total junkerman, he’ll help you out.
They plan to spend their lazy days of retirement traveling, walking in Lincoln Park, and reading for pleasure. Hanging out with their kids and grandbaby will keep their days interesting.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Next Sunday’s bystander-training workshop presented by Anti-Hate Alaska Junction isn’t the first event of its kind in West Seattle.
But it’s the first since two people were murdered in Portland during an incident that began as bystander intervention – three men trying to stop another from harassing two young women, shouting anti-Muslim slurs.
The upcoming local workshop was planned before that happened; we received the original announcement earlier that week. It shone a brighter light on questions about what to do if you’re there when hate happens, so we sat down to talk with the presenter, Rev. Andrew Conley-Holcom of Admiral Congregational Church, and organizer Susan Oatis of Anti-Hate Alaska Junction.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Eight years ago, West Seattle writer Linnea Westerlind “decided all of a sudden to try to visit all the parks in the city in a year.”
Not that she wasn’t already having enough of an adventure, as the parent of a son who was six months old at the time she started her exploration – and then, “in the middle of that, I had twins.”
So with three little park-going companions, she continued the park visits. “I loved parks and was just in love with the park system and decided to turn it into something more tangible.
“Discovering Seattle Parks,” just published by Harbor Island-headquartered Mountaineers Books, is the result. It’s also, Westerlind says, the first guidebook to Seattle parks in more than 40 years, spotlighting more than 100 of them.
After hearing about it, we requested an interview, and sat down at one of her favorite West Seattle parks – Lowman Beach – this past Monday.
First anniversary announcement we have received in a while. Congratulations to the Quinns!
Michael and Victoria Quinn are celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary on June 12. They have happily journeyed together from Pullman to New Hampshire, then Oregon, and finally West Seattle, with a year in England thrown in for good measure. Along the way they have been blessed with three remarkable children, a talented son-in-law, and a precocious granddaughter.
Alki’s a little cleaner after one hour of volunteer help today – thanks to Kersti Muul for the photos and report!
Today many groups are meeting at several beaches to help clean up for “An hour for the ocean” another event for Orca Month.
I worked with Whale Scout at Alki and we got 100 pounds of trash in one hour, in a small stretch near the bathhouse!
Beautiful day, beautiful people. We had a woman from Poland there, and one from Colombia helping, amazing!
More chances to clean up the beach are coming up this summer – including a Seal Sitters event two weeks from today!